Everything is a risk

*Continued from previous post.

Aren’t we (the collective we) always taking our lives in our hands?  Aren’t our lives always in our own hands, in one sense or another?  Every little thing we do has a risk associated with it, but we choose to do those things despite the risks (and, of course, we mitigate those risks where we can).

  • We got on a plane to fly across the country.  The plane could have crashed for any number of reasons.
  • Speaking of flying, John is learning to pilot small planes.  He’s not experienced, and even with an instructor there with him, he could crash.
  • I ate a sandwich – I could have choked on it.
  • I went down into the basement to get the laundry – I could have fallen down the stairs.
  • I went for a run – I could have had a heart attack or been hit by a car or been pushed over the rail of the bridge.
  • I went outside to meet Jess for coffee – I could have had a satellite fall on my head.  A rabid dog could have bitten me.  A rabid squirrel could have bitten me.
  • I let a stranger make me coffee (well, I paid her to make me coffee) – the lady at the coffee shop could have poisoned me (although that would be bad for business).
  • I washed dishes in the sink – the electrical cable from the electric kettle could fall into the running water and electrocute me.

Afraid as I am that The Big One will hit the Pacific Northwest while we’re there, I don’t think I can let that stop me from going.  That feels like the first step towards hiding in my room, curtains drawn, locking myself in and the rest of the world out.


  1. Sounds like you need to read about Micromorts!


    A micromort is a unit of measurement of a probability of death from doing something. 1 micromort = 1 in 1,000,000 chance of death. The linked wikipedia page has quite a few examples, such as driving 230 miles by car has a 1 micromort probability. The values are averages and are of course modified by other factors, but provide a good ballpark figure. When you look at the numbers and really absorb the probabilities I find it quite calming, knowing my chances of accidental death are pretty low.

  2. Momma Betty

    Thanks, Randy. I’ve never heard of micromorts, but I can see that it’s a god way of determining whether certain fears are well-founded or not.

  3. Zannah

    Calming and fun to imagine. Micromort is a teeny little risk assessment guy for a life insurance company. High-pitched voice, tiny little glasses, pocket protector, allergic to most things.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Are you a robot? Beep beep boop beep *